A Mystic Restaurant in New-Delhi by Morphogenesis Print
Tuesday, 28 July 2009 07:01


The restaurant, Sequel, by United Coffee House is located in a busy market square in the heart of an upscale neighborhood in New Delhi. United Coffee House is one of Delhi’s oldest restaurants and has deep-rooted memories for most Delhiites who have frequently visited the restaurant over decades.

Working within an extremely linear plot of size, it was a huge challenge for the architects to accommodate a fine dining restaurant and lounge within the tight setting of the site.


PlansMG_restaurant_SectionSection (click to enlarge)

The market square is extremely busy and an identity for the restaurant was a part of the design brief- both for the passers-by and for the restaurant customers. The brief also required a sense of privacy and pampering transporting the food aficionado away from the clutter and noise of the street to a calm, serene and sophisticated Zen-like ambience.
MG_restaurant_02MG_restaurant_03MG_restaurant_07The interior theme was derived from two main notions; one, the idea of a [Box] 2 – A Box within a Box. This would help to provide Individuality and Identity within the cluttered visual of the narrow side-by-side high street buildings.

Secondly, the use of a modern version of the ‘harshingaar’ motif signifies the contemporary, yet traditional nature of the space. To blend in the contemporary nature and function of the new fine dining/ lounge with the traditional paradigm of a family restaurant that United Coffee House stands for, this time-honored motif of ‘Harshingaar’ has been used symbolically as an integral part of the design theme.

The restaurant space is conceived as a discreet high design space, strung along an almost sculpture like staircase moving over three floors. The staircase epitomizes the entrance and creates an impact at the heart of the building. The ‘Harshingaar’ is cut in wood and used in multiple configurations as a part of the staircase railing.
A bamboo lamp installation over this triple height space created by the staircase visually creates an impact by means of its exceptional sculptural identity. A traditional skin- ‘jaali’ is wrapped all over the exterior façade using lights and voids as a pattern-making tool. The pattern is abstracted from the ‘Harshingaar’ and is used to create dramatic and dynamic light changes through the day and over seasons. At night, the light changes can be programmed for festivities.

MG_restaurant_01The pattern is used in the form of both reliefs and perforations that abstract the theme in an extremely contemporary manner. Once inside the building, a wooden ‘jaali’ with the ‘harshingaar’ pattern demarcates the seating areas.

The pattern also finds place on the furniture- the back of the chairs, the table tops and even the appliqué work on the walls of the lounge areas. The false ceiling and the AC ducts are also clad in wood with the ‘harshingaar’ motif cut out to bring in light into the restaurant space, almost making it glow in light.

It is this pattern and the vocabulary of the furniture that connects all the three floors of the restaurant- the booth areas, the communal table areas and the Lounge area. A limited palette of colours and materials is used - Beige, Wooden floors and Red is used to highlight the features.

What is unique to the high design nature of the restaurant is that the entire design was treated as a high design hand-crafted product. The final outcome is exclusive, memorable and will probably age well; from engaging and stimulating the old customers, to welcoming the new, the Sequel is more than just an experience.

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Last Updated on Friday, 21 August 2009 06:57